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My cornish pasty recipe

November 22, 2011

After posting pictures of my recent pasties I was asked for the recipe. I had tried various versions I’d found in books or online. One used strong bread flour – yuk. Several followed the original idea of putting only raw ingredients in the pastry. My parents could always get it all to cook that way, though the pastry was heavy, but I found nothing cooked properly inside in the time needed to cook the pastry. So I typed up my recipe from the notes I’d made and here it is. Enjoy.

Makes 6 small or 4 large pasties, depending on size of dinner plate used to cut pastry circles.

All quantities are approximate.


400g self-raising or plain flour + 1 or 2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 or 1 tsp bi-carb

125g lard

50g margarine

1/2 tsp salt

150g cold water

Cut lard & margarine into tiny pieces in the mixing bowl. Sift on the flour etc. Mix to the consistency of coarse, barely sticky bread crumbs. Add water gradually and mix until the whole mass will just hold together and feel damp. You may not need all the water. If it becomes stuck to your fingers and the bowl you’ve added too much water – add some flour.

This can be done with an electric mixer but it’s a ‘heavy’ mix and better done with cold hands.

Mould into a ball, wrap in lightly oiled cling-film and place in the fridge.

Do something else for a couple of hours.


200g potato (preferably waxy, rather than floury texture)

200g swede (1/4 large one)

350g skirt of beef

1 large onion

seasoning, milk, cooking oil

Remove pastry from fridge to return to room temp.)

Preheat oven to 180C (165C fan)

Peel veg. & chop into 1 cm (or smaller) cubes. Place in water to come to the boil. Add salt when it begins to boil.

Chop the onion as preferred.

Chop the beef into 1 cm cubes. Coat lightly in flour. This can be tricky as all the little pieces tend to stick together.

Place beef & onion into hot oil in a non-stick pan. Stir fairly often and vigorously to brown the beef pieces and sauté the onions for a minute or two. Turn the heat down.

When the veg. has been boiling for 3-5 minutes turn off the heat and strain.

Add the veg to the meat and onions and stir. It’s OK if some liquid from the veg. goes in too. Add lots of (fresh) ground black pepper. Turn off the heat and allow to stand.

Turn the pastry onto a floured surface and knead fairly firmly until the dough becomes elastic. i.e. pressing a finger tip in and it springs back afterwards. The skill of kneading took me a long time to gain. If you don’t do it the pastry will fall apart later.

Divide roughly into 4 or 6 unequal pieces. Start with the largest piece and work down. The trimmings from each circle can be added to the smaller pieces.

Roll out until each piece is big enough to cut a circle around your chosen dinner plate. Brush the edge with water or milk. Pile some filling into the middle (don’t overdo it) and fold over. Press the edges together.

Brush that edge with water/milk and crimp. I still haven’t mastered the skill of crimping. The experts make it look so easy. Brush the top with milk. Place on oiled, floured baking paper in oven trays.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Serve with whatever you want.

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